All posts by Richard Porter

March 10th 1964 – Ringo Goes Walkabout (In A Hard Day’s Night)

Turks Head Pub, Winchester Road, St Margaret’s

On March 10th 1964, Ringo Starr filmed his solo ‘walkabout scene for a A Hard Day’s Night. He is goaded by Paul’s grandfather (played by Wilfred Brambell) that he should go out and enjoy life.  Ringo enters the pub through the side entrance (actually in St Margaret’s Grove). He orders a sandwich, which looks extremely stale. He complains about it and interrupts the pub games. This scene was filmed at the Turks Head Pub in Winchester Road, St. Margaret’s, just a few yards away from the film studio. The pub is still there to this day, and makes Beatles fans very welcome. If you ask nicely they will show A Hard Day’s Night on the pub’s big screen, so you can watch it in one the places the film was shot!

The pub is only about 400 metres from Twickenham Film Studios, where most of the interior scenes of A Hard Day’s Night were shot.

Although she was not involved in this scene, Ringo was accompanied to the pub by Pattie Boyd, who played a schoolgirl in the film. She married George Harrison two years later.  On 24th April  all four Beatles came to Winchester Hall,  the pub’s function room, for a ‘wrap party’, to celebrate the completion of the shooting of the film.

In October 2001, members of the original cast and crew came to the Turks Head to film for the bonus DVD of A Hard Day’s Night.

Ringo in the Turks Head Pub, March 10th 1964
Ringo outside the Turks Head Pub, March 10th 1964

 

The side entrance of the Turks Head.
Ringo and Pattie Boyd in the Turks Head

Helter Skelter Coming Down Fast!

Helter Skelter – the new name for the Beatles Coffee Shop, will be opening in a few days. I’m glad to say they have retained the Beatles heads by the door :>) I will be acting as a consultant on all things Beatles for the new owners. The shop will be at St John’s Wood Underground Station, the nearest to Abbey Road Studios and the Abbey Road Crossing. We will be visiting the new shop on my London Beatles Walks http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

Portmeirion to celebrate 50 Years of Sgt Pepper

Things are really hotting up for the 50th anniversary Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It has just been announced that the village of Portmeirion in Wales is to organise a special Beatles day at this amazing seaside location. George Harrison loved the village, and was interviewed here for the Beatles Anthology. He also held his 50th birthday party here. Brian Epstein also loved it, and holidayed here many times.

Portmeirion was also the location for the great TV series ‘The Prisoner’.

On Friday, March 24, locations manager Mr Jones will take members of the public on an exclusive tour around Gate House – a cottage previously used by Brian Epstein.

The tour will also take visitors outside the Watch House, up to the Bristol Colonnade and around the Hotel’s Mirror Room, which all have connections with George Harrison.

And as a finale to the event Fab Four tribute band The Mersey Beatles will perform a number of hits.

Tickets cost £30 and can be booked by visiting http://www.portmeirion-village.com, calling 01766 772390 or email ymholiad@portmeirion-village.com.

George Martin and Brian Epstein in Portmeirion

Sgt Pepper to be re-released, including Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane?

The Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK are reporting that Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is to be re-released on June 1st – the 50th anniversary of its original release. They also say that Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane are to be included on the album for the first time. These songs were originally recorded for the album, but EMI wanted a single release, and Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields were selected. Although one of the most incredible singles of all time, it became the first Beatles single in four years not to get to number one in the charts. It was held off the top spot by Engelbert Humperdinck and ‘Release Me’

A word of warning. This story had not been reported elsewhere, and the Mirror are notoriously unreliable. Also, there was no information as to whether this was a deluxe release, or any other bonus material.

More news when we get it!

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/two-iconic-beatles-songs-finally-9970665

 

Beatles Fan Club: a unique collection now on display at the Beatles Story in Liverpool

A unique collection of memorabilia from The Beatles’ “Youngest Fan Club Member” has gone on display at The Beatles Story .
Russell Jamieson is known as the youngest Beatles Fan Club member when at just four years old back in 1963, he was made an honorary member of the Club.
The youngster loved the band so much that he ran away from his home in Kirby to join the Fab Four in 1963, and when the story made the local papers, John, Paul, George and Ringo requested that club secretary Anne Collingham award him with an honorary membership. He even became known as “Russell Beatle”.
The highlights of the collection include a set of autographs dedicated to Russell, an original Beatles leather jacket and a Beatles collarless jacket.
Images of Russell with the Fab Four will also be on display as well as letters from the band and a newspaper article signed by Sonny Boy Williamson, the famous American Blues harmonica player.
The letter from The Beatles Fan Club reads: “At the special request of John, George, Paul and Ringo, I have very much pleasure in inviting you to become an honorary member of THE OFFICIAL BEATLES’ FAN CLUB.
“I am enclosing your membership card and a couple of special photographs which I am sure you’ll want to add to your collection.
“I want to take this opportunity of welcoming you to the Club and of hoping that you will continue to admire our favourite group, THE BEATLES. Who knows – one day you may form a recording group of your own and I shall be able to form a Fan Club for you too!
“Lots of luck, with love from, Anne Collingham. Secretary of THE OFFICIAL BEATLES FAN CLUB”.
Charlotte Kelly, Operations Manager at The Beatles Story said, “We are delighted to add this unique collection of artefacts to our exhibition, which now holds over 1,400 items. Fans of the band and musical history will enjoy this unique exhibit and the remarkable story it tells about young ‘Russell Beatle’ – who is the youngest and the only honorary member of the Fan Club as far as we are aware”.

The new display at the Beatles Story
Russell with the Beatles

March 5th 1963 – a Busy Day for the Beatles!

March 5th 1963 was a very busy day for the Beatles. They first did a photo session with John Dove at EMI House in Manchester Square, and at Montague Place, near the British Museum.

They then went to EMI Studios at Abbey Road to record their third single, ‘From Me To You’ and ‘Thank You Girl’, plus ‘The One After 909’ – which wasn’t released in 1963, but re-recorded for the ‘Let it Be’ album. The version recorded in 1963 wasn’t released until ‘Anthology One’ in 1995.

The Beatles on the steps of EMI Studios, Abbey Road, with the postman going by!
The Beatles in Montague Place, March 5th 1963. Notice John has put his glasses over the parking meter!
The Beatles on the step leading to the basement at EMI House, Manchester Squre
The Beatles in the canteen of EMI Studios, Abbey Road

March 2nd 1964 – the Beatles Start Filming A Hard Day’s Night

On March 2nd 1964, the Beatles begin filming their first film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ at Paddington Station. They get on a specially hired train that travels between Paddington and Minehead in Somerset. While most directors would film train scenes in a film studio, Richard Lester was determined to use real locations, so a special train was hire. It was on the first day of filming that  George Harrison met model Pattie Boyd, who plays a schoolgirl in the film. They started a relationship, that led to their marriage two years later.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd on the set of A Hard Day’s Night